1911 Pistol in 10mm Auto Caliber, Sounds Good But…


10mm Round
10mm Round

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- 10mm Auto.

Last weekend, during a DTI Defensive Pistol Course on the East Coast, a student brought a 1911 pistol in 10mm Auto caliber.

10mm Auto had a brief following when it was first introduced in 1983. But, it never gained significant popularity, and there has been scant demand for the ammunition for at least the past thirty years.

Recently, it has garnered some popularity among handgun hunters. But, as a serious carry pistol, the 10mm has few adherents.

One of them was my student last weekend, but his enthusiasm for the caliber quickly withered as his $1,500.00 pistol failed to cycle time and again! Most common problem was failure to feed.

We cleaned and lubed it, but feeding issued continued.

In our, and his, frustration, we eventually put this student into a GLOCK G19, which of course, ran fine for the duration.

Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )
Glock G19 Gen4 Pistol (original image by Aaron Ragusa )

We’ve seen a few other pistols in this caliber at our Courses, but not many, and I’ve never seen one that ran reliably. The 10mm Auto is a long, straight-walled cartridge. It is essentially “designed to fail!”

Pistols chamberd for it usually have tight chambers (for accuracy, you know), which exacerbates the reliability issue.

As a hunting handgun, the 10mm Auto may have a place, so long as you’re not hunting anything dangerous! As a pistol carried for serious purposes, it has few followers, as noted above.

One fewer after last weekend!


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

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I have a Sig P220 Elite in 10 mm with a 5 inch barrel, and I have not experienced one problem with any type of ammo I have used. Yes a full power 10 is a bit peppier than a 45 or a 9. I also have a Dan Wesson 1911 in 10 mm, which has had FTF and FTE issues. It is not that 10 mm ammo is not right, it is that Sig got it right for a 10 millimeter pistol.

Jack A Furbush

Mastering the 10mm is like mastering the .357 magnum in the K and J frame S&W revolver. It takes some work. The extra power is worth the world if you feel you need it

Jack A Furbush

One of the best features of the Glock is it like a revolver needs no manual safet. This makes it perfect for an EDC weapon along with a holster that needs no manual retention device. Being that almost always you’re going to behind the power curve when you are attacked you need to be able to draw and shoot in one motion. Try to get yourself to 1.5 seconds with what you use. Glock pistols are like a toothbrush they always work. I’ve only seen one person that couldn’t make one work


It’s a distraction from the merits of 10mm, and they are many, but as a general rule if you can’t see an attack coming then you’ve already lost. No matter what your draw is, if you lack the situational awareness and common sense to navigate the world then drawing like it’s fictional 1810 won’t save you. And if you can see one coming then you’ve got time to chamber a round or turn a safety off. There’s arguments that you’ll forget to but the people making those arguments have never been in a fight of any kind in their life… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

You are full of more shit than a Christmas Goose. I’ve seen hundreds of people injured and killed in violent attacks in my 33 years as a cop. 7.5 LAPD 5.8 NYPD the rest in my home town and a couple of surrounding towns. 10 years in the Marine Corps and 16 as a Private High Risk High Pay Military Contractor as tought me a thing or two about such things. I’ve only had one man actually call me out as done in westurn movies as you seem to think such encounters happen. That incedent was resolved without a weapon… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Why the fuck would you ever carry a PDW with an empty chamber? As I said you obviously have no real world experience in actual self defense. I doubt you’ve ever been in more than a school yard fight. If you’re attacked by a puke with a knife unless he cuts you’re juggler you’re not going to be stopped unless you just give up. When you’re shooting for blood YOU NEVER GIVE UP. It’s you’re life you’re trying to defend. You had better be able to get you’re weapon out and get as many shots off as it takes to… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Do you kiss his ring when you’re in his presence?


At a class in PPOTH the instructor wanted my to use a Glock since the safety on my Steyr is difficult to operate so I don’t use it (which is just like using a Glock). The Glock wouldn’t make it through 1 mag for me without a malfunction. It worked fine for its owner. I’ll stay with the S9, thanks.

Ken Pruitt

I have never had a failure to feed in my Witnrss Match Elite…hand loads or factory…..heavy springs help…the gun has to be set up right for the ammo you are using.


I put off buying a 10mm handgun for many years, but three years ago I finally purchased a Glock 20. It has run six different loads by various manufacturers (Federal, Winchester, Speer, and Doubletap). I had zero issues with any of the loads, even Doubletap, whose rounds were of pretty poor quality (bullets missing lubricant, shaved lead, speeds significantly less than advertised, etc.). I have also run three different handloads using hardcast WFNGC bullets at “+P” speeds (slightly higher velocities than maximum loads listed) to carry when I go into bear country (which starts about 1/2 mile east of my… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Be careful shooting lead out of a factory Glock barrel. The lead will build up and blow your pistol up. The Glock doesn’t use lands and groves. It uses a twist like the H&K G3. Get a replacement barrel for lead bullets. That’s one of the great things about the Glock20 it eats anything.


Jack, Perhaps that is true in some calibers, but I have over 24,000 rounds through my Gen2 G21, and around 8,000 of those were handloads with lead bullets. I have _never_ had an issue with them, and most of the loads were just under max for the .45 ACP. Round nose, semi-wadcutters, flat nose – they all worked. The original Glock barrel worked just fine. I have shot several thousand lead bullets through my G23, and almost as many through my G20. AFAIK, the only issues with “kabooms” is the tendency of the .40 cal round to experience excessively high… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

Yikes… Be careful especially with the .40 S&W and lead in the factory barrel. I’ve personally seen two of them blow using lead bullets. Both shooters cleaned their guns regularly so I don’t think cleaning was the issue. The Glock barrel doesn’t fully support the case head so if an over pressure do to a restricted bore occurred they let go. Both blow the dust cover and magazines out and buldged the barrel. Fortunately neither shooter got hurt. The Glock .40 are the only guns that have let go with hand loads that I know about. IPSC shooters had this… Read more »

Richard Harrington

Carried a S&W 1006, 10mm, as an FBI agent. ( I believe it had come from the factory performance center). Never had any issue whatever. Very accurate during qualification shoots which inspired confidence.

Jay Baer

i have a SW 1006 which worked fine when I parked it in the safe, several friends had SW 10mm’s also, none of them ever had a function problem. As a reloader, I always followed the recipe in the books. I also have used Glock 20 and 29’s, but never got around to shooting either. i’m looking for a 10mm 1911, and would love to know the brands that fail or work well.

James Higginbotham

what i do with any model 1911 i buy is first throat the chamber then polish it, then polish the feed ramp.
maybe they should of had this done and maybe the pistol would have cycled right.

Jack A Furbush

That is one of the many great things about the 1911 pistol. It’s like a lego set. You can build it any way you want. If you can use some basic hand tools you can set it up any way you want it and work with any load you need it to work with. This fairy tale about carrying a custom weapon as a PDW is a creation of gun magazine writer’s. In 33 years in lawenforcement 7 of them LAPD. I never once saw the choice of weapons or ammunition a factor in wether a shooting case went to… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

The 10mm pistols and ammo are still very popular, that’s why there still in production. I followed Farnams articles back around 20 years ago. I’m not the only one that thinks he full of shit. Relax chicken little. Just because we gun people call him out on his bullshit doesn’t mean the sky is falling

Jack A Furbush

What are you blathering about? Just because we 10mm shooters call him out on his bullshit remarks on something he seems to know next to nothing about you think the sky is falling chicken little. I’ve read his magazine articles over the past 20+ years. I’m not the only one who thinks he’s full of shit. Take a pill, sit down and take a breath


Is this some bizarre Kafka esque Twilight Zone nightmare, … or is this really happening? Is it possible that NRA and SAF and GOA and CCRKBA and JPFO members and fellow Republicans and gun rights advocates could degenerate into vicious squabbling savages? If we cannot agree on anything, … if we must disagree on everything, … can we at least not become disagreeable? To see my revered friend John Farnam’s remarks taken totally out of context, his character disparaged, his expertise impugned, and his bloodied crucified carcass covered with heaping piles of ad hominem attacks; has driven me to question… Read more »

Jack A Furbush

If you publish articles full of statements that just ain’t so you’re going to get called out on You’re BULLSHIT. That’s what can happen when you put yourself out there. It doesn’t mean the downfall of western civilization. Get over yourself


Mr Farnam is a well-respected warrior teacher and gentleman . Notice, all you keyboard commandos, the example given was a1911 in 10 mm. IMHO , God’s Own Right Fist was designed for the .45ACP. One blasphemes when trying to “improve ” that perfect combination. He is also correct – while YOU may love your 10mm, more shooters don’ t than do!

Lighten up, Francis!

Jack A Furbush

Do you kiss his ring when you’re in his presence?